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Summer school fee OKd

GLENDALE — Students will have to pay $375 if they choose to take two semesters’ worth of classes during summer school, according to a cost-saving plan school board members unanimously approved Tuesday.

The Glendale Unified School District plan comes without any guarantee of financial aid or scholarships for students who want to advance through a subject or who want to fulfill a graduation requirement. Students who want to take one semester’s worth of course work, such as health, would pay $190.

“The whole purpose of creating this is to be able to offer summer school to at least some of our students,” said Kathy Thorossian, assistant superintendent of educational services. “We’re committed to finding a way to at least offer some [financial] assistance to those who can’t afford it.”

Summer school will remain free for students who need course remediation, or credit to graduate on time, officials said.

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Parent Teacher Assn. President Lynn Miyamoto said she expects families to support the summer school plan, and hopes financial aid could be provided in the future.

“If they could provide summer school to everybody at no cost, that would be great, but this is a compromise,” she said. “It’s better than having no summer school at all.”

The changes to summer school stem from an $18.5-million deficit projected for 2011-12, and the district faces greater oversight and regulation by the Los Angeles County Office of Education if Glendale Unified officials cannot demonstrate fiscal solvency.

With few nonnegotiable cost-cutting measures left, district officials found potential savings in summer school, which usually consumes more than the state budget provides, officials said.

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The district stood to lose $2.15 million by maintaining the same summer program offered last year.

Officials said they would not know how much savings are netted until summer school enrollment is finalized by mid-May.

“I am confident we’ll have summer classes of 25 to 30 students who want to take geometry or algebra II,” she said. “I also know that students and their families want to be competitive as they get to college and/or want to open their schedules so they can participate in band or cheer and some of the electives.”

Registration for classes ends in April, and Glendale Unified teachers will be hired for summer session before mid-May.

District officials say the costs and two-tiered system for remediation and advancement mirrors school districts in Walnut Valley, Temple City, Palo Alto and South Pasadena.

“Every one of the school districts that I spoke to that had this [arrangement] did not have a scholarship component,” Thorossian said.

“We [are] creating something new in this district in terms of a fee-based summer program and navigating that process, but we’re also . . . looking for scholarships.”



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